There are so many things I love about summer, but at the top of the list is visiting local farmers markets, general stores, or roadside stands. The above photographs are of a roadside market in Canton, Georgia.
The owners have taken an old home and turned it into a wonderful store. This little market has fresh produce, fresh eggs, butter, canned goods, all the old-time soda brands you can think of, and local folk art. Oh, and if you want to practice your own gardening abilities they have beautiful plants from which to choose. What is so great about these markets you ask? Well, just about everything: the fruits and vegetables came from a local garden (this means it is fresh, not refrigerated, and if you are from the south you know what a refrigerator does to a fresh picked tomato), less gas was used to transport the items to the store, and the satisfaction of the person that has done the work (this is just from my personal experience).
Last week I stopped at a nearby stand that seemed very popular. The man had beautiful tomatoes, squash, peppers, and cantaloupe. As I was standing in line waiting my turn I listened to the conversations; apparently this farmer had a heart attack last year and all of the the regulars to his stand were worried that he might not be able to come back and his reply was “I will always be back until I have gone to meet my Lord. My garden and my family are what keeps me going.” This seemed to be the best reasons of all the buy local.